Proposition 51 was adopted June 3, 1986, and is codified as Civil Code section 1431.2. It revised the old rule of joint and several liability as to general damages and imposed a new rule of partial responsibility depending on percentages of fault.
The intent of the statute was to allocate general or non-economic damages between defendants as can be seen from the adoption of Civil Code section 1431.1 which contains the finding and declaration of the People of the State of California:
The People of the State of California find and declare as follows:
(c)Local governments have been forced to curtail some essential police, fire and other protections because of the soaring costs of lawsuits and insurance premiums. Therefore, the People of the State of California declare that to remedy these inequities, defendants in tort actions shall be held financially liable in closer proportion to their degree of fault. To treat them differently is unfair and inequitable.
The People of the State of California further declare that reforms in the liability laws in tort actions are necessary and proper to avoid catastrophic economic consequences for state and local governmental bodies as well as private individuals and businesses.
Go to Consumer Law for more information about Proposition 51.
[Mary Carter Agreement]
[Bias vs. Wright]